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Investigation

Whoever Owns The “Summergamesfest” URL Has Spent Years Doing The Lord’s Work

A long and storied history of activism and cheese puffs

Summergamesfest.com

We’ve done this bit upwards of one million times here on Aftermath dot site, but it should be called Summer Games Fest, not Summer Game Fest. There’s more than one game! “Games” is more natural from a grammatical standpoint! As a result of this awkward lack of pluralization, many people mispronounce the name of Geoff Keighley’s summer showcase, which, as it turns out, also extends to typing out its URL. And that, friends, is where the fun begins. 

See, Keighley and company do not own summergamesfest.com. It’s unclear who does – only that they nabbed it via GoDaddy in May 2020 and will retain control until at least May 2025 – but they’ve been having a heck of a time with it. Dropping the URL into the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine shows that it initially played host to an image of a plate of cheese puffs and a Dorito-orange taco shell with a hotdog in it. 

This is perhaps a reference to an infamous picture of Keighley from 2012 in which he’s staring into the camera like a painting whose eyes never move but somehow follow you no matter where you are in a room, flanked on one side by Doritos and Mountain Dew and on the other by a Doritos-and-Mountain-Dew-branded Master Chief banner. At the time, this became a notorious meme. Keighley had yet to ascend to his rarified status of Guy Who Handles All Video Game Announcements and instead straddled the line between games journalist and PR mouthpiece, with the sweaty stink of the Spike TV Game Awards also emanating from his general direction. People didn’t know what to make of him, but they knew they felt weird about him. This image encapsulated all of that. A supposed journalist nearly drowning in product placement seems quaint compared to today’s endless parade of YouTubers who get paid directly by companies to hawk games and products, but back in 2012, this got Keighley branded as the “Dorito Pope,” a dusty, orange stain he only managed to shed once The Game Awards took off. 

Or it could just be an image of cheese puffs and a hotdog taco.

Over the course of the past four years, people have accidentally stumbled onto summergamesfest.com, only to leave both amused and confused. Others have respected the domain squatter’s commitment to the bit.

“Whoever hosts http://summergamesfest.com is a legend,” wrote one frequenter of the site in 2022, “because the hotdog taco and cheese puffs are still there, and they have brilliantly chosen not to sell their domain to SGF all for the sake of a somewhat mediocre meme.”

But that’s not all summergamesfest.com has been used for over the years. In summer of 2020, it briefly redirected to a New York Magazine article titled “142 Ways to Donate in Support of Black Lives and Communities of Color” (the article has since been updated with an additional 26 ways). It then reverted to the cheese puff image, adding text that read "WELCOME BACK TOO THE PARTY, FREIND" at some point in either 2020 or 2021. 

As of this writing, the domain’s owner is again using it for activism, this time in support of Palestine. The URL currently redirects to a page from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) that allows you to donate money in support of Gazans enduring and escaping Israel's assault.

It does not appear that the owner of the domain has publicly revealed their identity, but more power to them. And if they ever do decide they want to come forward, well, my contact info is below.

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